It’s an old building, arguably the worst dorm on Upper Quad. It was my home for four years while I was a student and cadet at Virgina Tech. It’s been the home of the Highty-Tighties for at least a decade. And its days are numbered.
I have many fond memories of Monteith Hall (which I pronounce “MON-teeth” much to the chagrin of my peers). From the very first day of New Cadet Week in 2002 when a handful of bald strangers stood around making idle conversation in one of the many tiny dorm rooms, only to be startled out of our minds when the door burst open and an angry Cadre Corporal (they don’t have those anymore) blasted us with loud and foreign sounding rhetoric — to my final years there where I would proudly exclaim each morning in the hallway after returning from morning PT, “It’s a great day to be a Highty-Tighty freshmen!”.
My buds and I painted the walls with motivational murals, we heel-popped holes in the walls, and we partied on Friday nights before football games by shining our instruments in the hallway (in complete silence, mind you). We practiced rappelling in the stairwell before Upper Quard Special Forces set out into the night to rappel from much greater heights, and we had airsoft wars in the halls on occasion.
Monteith Hall is the birthplace of the annual incarnation of the Highty-Tighty yearbook; Ben Thomas (HT-05) and I cooked up the idea in his dorm room and we had HT Yearbook Staff meetings in the study lounge (either the second or third floor, I can’t remember which). I met some of my life-long friends in that building. I laughed there, cried there, bled there, sweat there, and slept there. It was the place to which the band returned after many a long night in Lane Stadium, a site for sore eyes after marching a long parade in a far away city. It was our home away from home.
While I do hold a nostalgic affection for Monteith Hall, I can’t say I am sad to see it go. Even when I was cadet, the dorms felt crowded and outdated (the steam radiators were quite warm in the winter but they did tend to clang and band quite a bit) — and Monteith was without a doubt considered the worst dorm on Upper Quad. With the Corps now well over one thousand in number, I can only image how small those dorms must feel today. It’s refreshing to see the university investing in the Corps, ensuring they have the facilities and resources to train the next generation of leaders. It gives me hope.